Romance Films without the Sentiment

My favourite romance films for Valentine’s Day 🙂

I’ve tried to pick films that aren’t soppy or sickly, so there are a couple of more unusual films on the list, and some where the romance isn’t the main focus of the film.



wall e and eva
Wall-E is one of my favourite films, I can’t count the number of times I’ve watched it. It has robots, spaceships, adventure and a romance running through it. It’s a lot of fun and the romance is sweet and charming.

The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride

inigo montaya

Slightly cheesy, a bit daft, this is an 80’s fairytale parody that has become a cult classic.

Endlessly quotable, romantic and funny, and also makes a great drinking game. What more could you want?

princess bride that word

Moonrise Kingdom

moonrise kingdom
A Wes Anderson film set in the 1960’s about two twelve-year-old children that fall in love and run away together, camping and exploring the wilderness in New England.

Charming and funny, it’s similar in style to Wes Anderson’s other films The Royal Tenenbaums and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Romancing the Stone

romancing the stone

“How will you die, Joan Wilder? Slow, like… a snail? Or fast, like a shooting star?”

Shy and quiet romance writer finds adventure, love, and confidence in the Colombian jungle. One of the best films of the 1980’s.

“You’re gonna be all right, Joan Wilder. You always were.”



The word quirky could have been invented for Amélie. A true feel good film that deserves its cult status.

Ever After

Ever After

A Cinderella retelling with Drew Barrymore in the lead role.

It’s set in Renaissance-era France and manages to sidestep the normal soppiness by making Cinderella an intelligent woman that enjoys reading and has strong opinions on how the ruling class should treat their people.

Worth watching for the role of Leonardo da Vinci as the Fairy Godmother alone.

“Why, that was pure genius!”

“Yes, I shall go down in history as the man who opened a door!”.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

Ever had a break up so painful that you wish the relationship had just never happened? The couple in this film use a new technology to start erasing their memories of each other.

It sounds bitter and maybe some of it is, but it also has moments of sweetness. It’s definitely not sentimental anyway!

Howl’s Moving Castle

howls moving castle

One of my favourite Studio Ghibli films this anime is about a young woman transformed into an old woman by a witch’s curse. She runs away from home and on her journey to break the curse she encounters the great and scary wizard Howl.

In Your Eyes

In Your Eyes
A man and a woman living at opposite ends of the country start to telepathically connect with each other.  Slowly they start to realise that they have been in each other’s minds their whole lives.

In Your Eyes is a slow burner romance and I’m glad I gave it a chance on Netflix.


Up Ellie and Carl

I nearly cry at the start of this film every time I watch it. If you can make it through the first 10 or so minutes the rest of the film is sharp, clever, and very very funny.

It’s maybe not an obvious one for a list of romance films, but really it’s about an old man that is looking for a reason to keep living after his wife dies.

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